Netanyahus before boarding flight to Ukraine
Netanyahus before boarding flight to Ukraine Amos Ben Gershom/GPO

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who is visiting Ukraine, on Monday played down an incident in which his wife, Sara, was filmed discarding a piece of traditional Ukrainian bread that was served to her and her husband during a welcoming ceremony at the airport in Kiev the previous night.

As the Netanyahus exited the plane, they were greeted by three young women in traditional attire who offered them bread and salt, as is commonly proffered in Slavic countries during official ceremonies.

Prime Minister Netanyahu took a piece of the bread and ate it, but when he gave his wife a second piece, she immediately dropped it onto the tarmac and brushed off her hands.

While some Ukrainians expressed outrage over the incident on social media, it appeared that officials in the country did not think it was done deliberately.

Speaking to reporters later on Monday, Netanyahu jokingly spoke about the incident.

"I'm here on a historic visit, but it's doubtful that it would have received such an upgrade in the media had it not been for the ‘bread incident,’" Netanyahu said. "Obviously Sara had no intention of disrespecting Ukraine. This is total nonsense."

"Sara came dressed in Ukraine's national colors, yellow and pale blue, in order to honor Ukraine as she got off the plane. If this is what is needed for this visit, that brings with it an expanded free trade agreement and a Ukrainian ministry to Jerusalem and other important things, to be covered by the media, then so be it,” he added.